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Samantha Benson

My first degree was in Forensic Science at the University of Lincoln. The analytical chemistry modules on my course piqued my interest, leading me to the Analytical Science (AS:MIT) MSc programme at the University of Warwick. I chose to do my MSc research project with Dr Manuela Tosin and Prof. Peter O'Connor in investigating the biosynthesis of polyketide natural products, this project then developed into a PhD.

Study of Iterative Biosynthesis by Top-Down MS/MS

Polyketides are natural products produced by bacteria, fungi and plants. The fine details of their biosynthesis are largely unknown, in particular for products deriving from iterative biosynthesis where genetic manipulation cannot be of assistance. In my MSc project I worked towards the FTICR-MS identification and characterisation of intermediates of type II polyketide synthases (PKSs). In doing so I learnt to express recombinant proteins in E. Coli and to purify them for activity assays, as well as to apply CAD and ECD fragmentation to the study of acyl carrier proteins (ACPs, ~10-12 kDa), key components of polyketide biosynthesis.


Tosin, M.; Spiteller, D.; Spencer, J. B. Chembiochem 2009, 10, 1714.

Tosin, M.; Betancor, L.; Stephens, E.; Li, W. M. A.; Spencer, J. B.; Leadlay, P. F. ChemBioChem 2010, 11, 539.

Tosin, M.; Demdychuk, Y.; Parascandolo, J. S.; Blasco Per, C.; Leeper, F. J.; Leadlay, P. F. Chem. Comm. 2011, 47, 3460.

Zhao, C.; Sethuraman, N.; Clavreul, P. K.; Cohen, R. A.; O’Connor, P. B. Anal. Chem. 2006, 78, 5134.

Sargaeva, N. P.; Lin, C.; O’Connor, P. B. Anal. Chem. 2009, 81, 9778


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